On our way to Niagara Falls this weekend, we passed the Tucker's Marketplace in Burlington and made a note that we might hit it on the way back. On Monday, we did, and were we ever glad!
For those who have not been to a Tucker's, it is a buffet with stations featuring salads, soups and breads, entrees, carved meats and sauces, an order-fresh area and desserts. I have been to a number of Tucker's (I believe there are currently three), and this one not only tops the others, it's about the best buffet experience I've ever had.
We were seated quickly even though the restaurant was busy, and drinks were ordered and delivered promptly. Our waitress, Carrie (hope I spell that right!), was very attentive, cleaning plates quickly, refilling drinks and asking if we needed anything.
And the food! Tucker's always has good salads (the dill potato salad is a favourite), but this time there were turkey wraps on the bar. I took one and thought, "Why am I wasting my time with a turkey wrap?" Wrong -- delicious! They were so good even my kids ate one or two!
The entrees and sides were all well prepared and seasoned, with very good calamari and BBQ'd chicken and a great beef stir fry with noodles. The roast beef (eye of round, actually, I asked) was better than the prime rib I had in Niagara Falls the night before, and the build-your-own-burger station was fantastic! The burgers are made on site and are 8 oz. bombers -- no sliders here! I had mine with cheese and bacon and a toasted bun, and there is a special bar set up for fixings with the standard stuff, plus stone-ground mustard and corn relish. This is a burger you would order at a standard sitdown restaurant for $10-15 and be happy with the quality.
Even the desserts, which I always find to be a letdown at buffets, were excellent. My wife and kids raved about the apple crisp, and I enjoyed the bread pudding and chocolate mousse. And of course, ice cream!
The topper was Carrie and the rest of the waitstaff coming over to sing happy birthday to my daughter Cate. Thanks very much to all of you -- she's still talking about it!
I sought out the general manager, Tim, to tell him what a great job everyone had done, and he took the time to talk with me about his time with Tucker's and how involved they make the managers in the decisions of the restaurants. It made me believe the leadership at Tucker's cares about my family's meal, and that's a good feeling.
The bill made me feel pretty good, too -- Cate was free for her birthday, but even with two adults and three kids, our meal was $58. Solid value, especially given the quality ... and quantity!
We don't venture that way often, but the next time we're around, we'll be back!
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